CHESTERFIELD — For the first time — on Saturday, June 1 — the annual Run In The Park foot races organized by the Friends of Pisgah will feature three different events, the usual 5k and 10k races, and an all new half-marathon.
These races coincide with National Trails Day and feature courses that are laid out on forest trails. None of the miles of running (or walking) are on paved roads; all the distances are on old abandoned lanes and true woods trails winding under the forest canopy. Volunteers with the Friends of Pisgah temporarily flag the routes and post temporary signage so the courses are easier to follow than ever before. This year, as well, there will be more water stations on route and more trail stewards.
Racers will assemble at the Horseshoe Trailhead parking lot on Horseshoe Road a mile southeast of the Chesterfield Elementary School. Race start time is slated for 9 a.m. Runners are advised to be on-site at least half an hour early. Those who haven’t pre-registered to race may do so at the registration tables at the trailhead. The 5k and 10k race fee is $25; the half-marathon is $35. Proceeds from the races are employed by the Friends of Pisgah Park to improve the trails and trail infrastructure with the entire park over the course of the year.
To reach the trailhead, motor on Route 9 from the west or east to Route 63 south (right turn if coming from Vermont, left turn if coming from the Keene area). Drive south to Chesterfield village and look for the Pisgah State Park sign on the left as the school comes into view. Turn left, pass the school, and look for Horseshoe Road on the right two football field lengths beyond the school. Turn right onto Horseshoe Road and travel about a mile to the trailhead. There will be plenty of parking.
If you are walking in Pisgah State Park a day or two before the races, please leave the temporary flagging and signage undisturbed. All flagging and signage will be removed from the park within a day or two after the races. Removing flagging and signage jeopardizes the runners’ ability to complete the races and can lead to participants becoming lost in the park.